A new report claims that a new Mafia game is in development, as multiple bosses leave the studio Hanger 13.
According to Kotaku, Hanger 13 studio head Haden Blackman is departing the studio after seven years at the company, as announced by 2K Games earlier this week. The report states that 2K Games wrote in an email to staff that Blackman is going to "pursue his passion at a new endeavor," and Kotaku believes that the move comes with a new Mafia game in development, supposedly a prequel.
"We are grateful for Haden’s leadership in establishing Hangar 13, building and uniting teams in Novato, Brighton and Czech, and releasing multiple studio-defining Mafia games and collections," wrote 2K in the internal email, as shared by VentureBeat. "What Haden helped build will continue to carry forward and grow for years to come. We support all of our employees pursuing their passions, and we wish nothing but the best for him in what’s next."
Chief operating officer Matthew Urban has also left the studio according to Kotaku, though this wasn't included in 2K's email. The report continues to explain that the change in staff comes as Hanger 13 moves away from original projects back to its established franchises like Mafia.
Nick Baynes will replace Blackman, currently studio head at Hanger 13's Brighton, UK office, where this new Mafia game is supposedly in development. It's apparently codenamed Nero, with plans to make it in Unreal Engine 5, rather than the Mafia III engine used for the recent remasters.
Hanger 13's first game was the third entry in the Mafia series, released in 2016, and later also worked on the remastered version of Mafia, released in 2020. But unfortunately, the studio received two sets of layoffs, in 2017 and 2018 respectively, having been working on several ideas for new IPs at the time and further.